"Did you want me, Mrs. Freeman?" she said, in her lazy, rich, somewhat impertinent voice.
"No, miss, that it can't," said Marshall, who felt as she expressed it afterward, "that royled by Miss May's 'aughty ways." "I won't keep Miss Collingwood any time, miss, ef you'll be pleased to walk on."
Ruth clapped her hands.
"Never mind, it is the correct thing to do. In a matter of this kind we are nothing if we are not businesslike. Now, who is coming to interrupt us?"Bridget felt a wild desire to rush after Miss Patience, and defying all punishment and all commands, appear as usual in the dining room."It is a covered wagon," said Janet. "I see it quite plainly. There is no carriage at all in view, Mrs. Freeman."
"I feel quite well," replied Evelyn, "quite well, and disinclined to stay in bed. I want to get up and see all my friends. You don't know how I have been looking forward to this."[Pg 21]
But plain as Evelyn undoubtedly was, no one who knew her long ever remarked about her appearance, or gave a second thought to the fact that she could lay small claim to physical beauty.
"I must have a cupboard like that," said Biddy. "Why, it's perfectly delicious!"
"Now, how old am I?" she asked, stamping her arched foot. "Don't be shy, any of you. Begin at the[Pg 17] eldest, and guess right away. Now then, Miss Collingwood—you see, I know your name—the age of your humble servant, if you please."